…and I will begin reading in chapter 3 of Galatians, verse 1. Please read carefully with me, please fasten your eyes on a Bible. If you do not have one in front of you look on with someone seated next or nearby you for these indeed are the most important words I will communicate this evening.
This is how C.J. Mahaney begins his sermon “Interrogating the Legalist Within”. The sermon itself is very convicting, a blend of humor and doctrine addressing how to deal with man’s ever present problem of “self-atonement”, but that is not the point of this post.
I loved how he introduced his text, partly because it is so obviously true yet so easily forgotten. No doubt C.J. Mahaney is a great speaker and he surely preaches like a dying man to dying people. It is so easy to anticipate the message when the reading of the text is the most important part, the God-inspired part. All the doctrine that men preach on comes straight from the Bible; it is their job to communicate what the Bible says to the less articulate and less studious.
It is so much easier to exalt these men rather than exalt God’s word, from which our knowledge of Christ and other truths come from. Why? I believe it is because we are lazy and want things spoon fed to us rather than investigate for ourselves. That is why there is so much more hearing than meditation in modern day churches.
Often I feel like I am convicted and rebuked more by pastoral insight rather than God’s word. It is easy to forget that speakers are mere men whose job is to communicate God’s message. It is the grace of God found in the word that sustains us, not the word of men. Man’s word is not eternal but God’s word is everlasting.
I need to learn and be convicted by the power of the Word.